Once developer DICE gets its current project, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 out the door, the studio will turn to Battlefield 3. Many have been wondering what setting Battlefield 3 will take place in. The answer to that question is something the developers don't even know yet. Producer Gordon Van Dyke says the team will be turning to its vast back catalog of Battlefield games. To date, DICE has released 15 Battlefield titles (expansions included), encompassing WWII, Vietnam, modern combat and future combat.
"I'd love to do any of them," said Van Dyke. "We have such a wealth of back catalog stuff we could pull from and do something similar to that, that it's almost mind-boggling. Right now, anybody's guess is as good as mine on what we could do. But definitely know that the back catalog is a great resource for us, and we definitely would look there first."
Once again confirming that the Xbox 360's lifecycle is longer than we expected is David Hufford, senior director of Xbox product management. According to him, there's no reason to launch an Xbox 360 successor.
"I think it's important to say that the Xbox 360 is the console of the long future for us. There is no need to launch a new console, because we're able to give this console new life either with software upgrades or hardware upgrades like Project Natal," Hufford told The Guardian at last week's CES.
"The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life," he added, "and I don't even know if we're at the midpoint yet."
Ron Jeremy, famed adult film star, feels that video games have more of a negative effect on kids than porn does. Jeremy attended this year's CES (which in itself is a bigger mystery), and had this to say on the subject:
"We don't want kids to watch porn, though if they do, there are far worse influences out there - like video games. Studies have found that violent video games are much bigger a negative influence on kids."
When Microsoft announced that Modern Warfare 2 would be getting timed exclusive DLC on Xbox 360, many gamers (i.e. non-Xbox 360 owners) complained that Microsoft was just buying out companies for exclusive DLC, taking advantage of its deep pockets. Others question the benefit timed exclusives really give the company. Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg sat down with Ars Technica to explain the business behind exclusive content.
"I think about it like a sports team, when you sign a star athlete for your team...when you sign that free agent, I think it makes your team better," he explained. "At the end of the day, we want to turn as many people as possible into Xbox 360 fans.
This year's CES was really about just three things: 3D TV's and overall 3D tech, E-readers, and tablet PCs (not the swivel kind, the new netbook kind). 3D gaming has been around for a year now, thanks to Nvidia's 3D vision glasses and Viewsonic's and Samsung's 3D-capable monitors. This year, every TV maker is pushing 3D tech, using their own or a mixture of other software/hardware-enabled tech.
But we don't really care about that. What we care about is whether it has a future, and whether anyone actually likes 3D. Most everyone here at CES saw Avatar in 3D (myself included) or one of Pixar's latest 3D films, and there are enough pairs of 3D glasses on the show floor for half of China to wear.
Oddly enough, every single appointment I had started with the question, "What do you think of 3D tech?" Keep in mind I didn't have a single appointment concerning 3D in any way, but I gave the same answer to everyone. 3D corrupts your vision.
At CES, we had the chance to get our hands on Razer/Sixense's new motion controller for PC, which to this point does not have an official name. These controllers are pretty sweet peripherals. Using magnetic technology, they have significantly more accurate accelerometers than Nintendo's Wii remote, meaning they don't require all the recalibrations the Wii often does.
We were able to play Left 4 Dead 2 using one of the Nunchuk-shaped devices, and it worked surprisingly well. The demo showed off a number of different ways in which the controller could be used -- as a standard mouse with motion functions (swinging it for melee attacks, etc.) to more motion-centric designs.
Microsoft's main focus for their upcoming Natal peripheral is on new games, not old, according to Xbox Live Group Manager Aaron Greenberg.
"What we want to do with Natal is bring entirely new original experiences to life," Greenberg said. "These are going to be brand new original games and brand new entertainment experiences that never existed before. Because there's nothing else like it, developers are going to be making brand new content for us."
However, this doesn't rule out Natal implementation for existing games altogether. When Microsoft first unveiled Natal back at E3, one of the games shown off was Burnout Paradise. Plus, Bungie has hinted in the past about Reach including motion controls as well. The most important Microsoft must do is to find some sort of balance between both old and new games, as well as pleasing their casual and hardcore audience. Microsof'ts David Hufford very briefly talks about this in a recent interview at CES. (more...)
CTA Digital, known for their unorthodox Wii peripherals, is also extending their peripheral products to the PS3. At CES, CTA Digital showed off a full sized plastic rifle designed to play Modern Warfare 2 on PS3. Kotaku's Brian Crecente said the controller was awkward to hold, and the speaker and rumble on the rifle were weak.
I think we're all in agreement that Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is pretty damn impressive in the visuals department (as well as other departments), but is it the best the PlayStation 3 has to offer? Sony doesn't seem to think so. At CES, one representative was so bold as to say Heavy Rain, the upcoming movie-like game from Quantic Dream, "blows Uncharted 2 away," graphically speaking.
The rep also described that both Uncharted 2 and Heavy Rain are action games, but the latter is very much different in that it's like playing a movie.
While I would agree that Heavy Rain is the best-looking game I've seen, I'm not sure if I would go so far as to say it "blows Uncharted 2 away." Either way, I'm very excited to get my hands on the full copy when it hits shelves in the US February 23. Sony also has a demo in the works which will be available pre-release.
Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 feature Netflix's streaming service, so why doesn't Nintendo's Wii have it? It will soon if Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has anything to say about it. When asked this very same question today at CES, Hastings said the chances of launching their streaming services on the Wii are "excellent" and "should work out over time."
This is by no means an official confirmation that Nintendo's console will get the service, but Netflix sounds pretty set on getting it onto all platforms. However, the question remains: when?
"Eventually we want to be on all the game consoles, all the Blu-ray players, all the Internet TVs, so we are working in parallel with all of those efforts," added Hastings.